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World-first as library degree endorsed by information giant

December 7 2013

A pioneering new library course was the first in the world to be accredited by an information giant.

The Library and Information Practice Foundation Degree and BSc (Hons) Library and Information Management at Glyndŵr University have been accredited by the prestigious Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

And it was double delight for programme leader Denise Oram when the first cohort of students on the subject’s inaugural BSc graduated with a staggering nine first class and two upper second degrees.

The university had initially been asked to create the Foundation Degree by the Welsh Government in a bid to train librarians so that they could “embrace the digital age”.

Paul Jeorrett, Head of Library and Student Services, was thrilled at the results and said the course itself had grown with the University being both responsive and innovative to meet the needs of employers.

He believes its accreditation will attract new students and makes Glyndŵr’s offering highly competitive compared to other courses available in the information sector, which also includes the media, marketing, research and archive materials.

“People have an opinion on what working for a library is like and what a degree in Library and Information Management would be all about, but there’s so much more to it,” said Paul.

“The fact we’re the first to be accredited by CILIP under their new professional framework and having been given a glowing report for the way we assess and deliver our courses is a big selling point for us.

“This takes us to the next level, especially as we’re the first in the world to have achieved this new style accreditation– it means we’re now leading the way, especially in Wales.”

Libraries across the UK have been disappearing as public authorities tighten the purse strings and struggle to make efficiency savings.

However, Paul says the Library and Information degree appeals to a much wider audience and the skills of the modern information professional have become even more important in a digital age.

“The way we teach this course is via innovative delivery methods including the use of the internet and social media, although books are still important and will be for the foreseeable future,” he said.

“Many professions need to search and gather information on a daily basis – journalism, market research, data mining and others – and this course provides the tools to do this in the most effective way.

“It is fun as well; we’ve been on many field trips and visits to libraries and museums, the students even interviewed the staff for a job as part of one of their assessment and we’ve welcomed academics from institutions far and wide, including Durham and even New Jersey.”

Paul added: “We’ve also worked alongside other departments here at Glyndŵr University, including performing arts and computing science, and take a practical approach to bring the theory alive.”

“We’ve delivered a course that’s unique and completely relevant, which CILIP agrees with – we’re very proud of this achievement.”

Professor Peter Excell, Dean of Arts, Science and Technology, praised the department.

“We were asked to develop this programme, initially as a foundation degree and then with an honours add-on programme, as an initiative from the Welsh Government to retrain librarians so that they could embrace the digital age,” he said.

“This amazing result from our first cohort shows we made the correct decision and are on the right path to attracting many more students to this course in years to come.”

Vic Grout, Professor of Computing Futures, added: “This is a wonderful achievement and I’d like to thank everyone involved for all of their hard work.”

For more information, visit the website:

Photo (left to right): Nicola Watkinson, Lynne Henderson, Carol Visser, Meira Jones, Isabel Phillips, Angela Friel, Sonia Rocke, Jenny Jones, Nick Roe, Deborah Salisbury, Bernadette Carter, Elizabeth Evans, Paul Jeorrett


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